Georgetown University’s women’s basketball coach Tasha Butts died on Monday after a battle of two years with breast cancer, ESPN reported. Butts was 41 years old.
Last month she stepped away from coaching at Georgetown, leading up to her two-year diagnosis of advanced-stage breast cancer in 2021. Her diagnosis inspired the “Tasha Tough” campaign, which brings awareness and raises money to bring quality care to women who can’t afford it through the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
— Georgetown WBB (@GeorgetownWBB) October 23, 2023
“I am heartbroken for Tasha’s family, friends, players, teammates and colleagues,” Georgetown athletic director Lee Reed said. “When I met Tasha, I knew she was a winner on the court, and an incredible person whose drive, passion and determination was second to none. She exhibited these qualities both as a leader and in her fight against breast cancer. This is a difficult time for the entire Georgetown community, and we will come together to honor her memory.”
Butts came to Georgetown from Georgia Tech this past April after a long coaching and professional WNBA career but died before he was ever able to coach a game at the Washington, D.C.-based university.
“Tasha’s passing is a devastating loss,” Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia said in a statement. “She was extraordinary—Tasha was a person of character, determination, vision, and kindness. She will be deeply missed by our community and by so many people around the country who have been inspired by her life. We offer her family our most sincere condolences.”
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With the 2023-24 campaign tipping off in November, Darnell Haney has been named Georgetown’s interim head coach for the season. The Hoyas and BIG EAST Conference will continue to honor Butts’ memory all season keeping her Tasha Tough initiative going to bring awareness to early cancer screenings and detection.
Butts was chosen 20th by the Minnesota Lynx in the 2004 draft. She played for Minnesota, Charlotte and Houston, and she also played internationally before going into coaching as an assistant at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh in 2007. She then joined the Georgia Tech women’s basketball staff as an assistant coach in April 2019 and was promoted to associate head coach two years later.
Tasha Butts is survived by her parents, Spencer Sr. and Evelyn, her brother, Spencer Jr. as well as her nephew, Marquis.
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